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Research & Learning Hub

Open Access

What is Open Access?

“Open Access refers to online, free of cost access to peer reviewed scientific content with limited copyright and licensing restrictions”


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Graph & definition from FOSTER Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research

Open Access Routes

There are two routes to open access; the open access journals and the open access repositories or open archives.

  • The Gold route to open access is delivered via publishing an article in a journal. The journal may be an open access journal (pure open access), or a subscription based journal (hybrid open access) that offers an open access option. OA journals perform peer review
    Publication fees: The model is to charge a fee upon acceptance of an article for publication. The bill may go to the author, but is often paid by the author's funder or employer rather than by the author out of pocket. Hence this model is sometimes, misleadingly, called the "author pays" or "author fee" model. The fee is sometimes called a "processing fee" or an "article processing charge" (APC).

    Other models:
    - Subsidy
    - Freemium
    For a list of OA journals in all fields and languages, see the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  • The Green route to open access is delivered via self-archiving (depositing) an output into a repository. OA archives do not perform peer review.
    There are two types of repositories, general and subject repositories.
General repositories  


Subject repositories

PubMed Central

Best Practice Guide

Open Access Plugins

These tools can help you find Open Access articles

for Chrome – Firefox

Google Scholar Button
for Chrome – Firefox


Open Access Button

Further Reading

  • Horizon 2020 The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

All beneficiaries of H2020 funding must provide Open Access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed publications by depositing them into a repository.

Open access policies from major publishers: